How we’re teaching our kids to read classically

reading2
The following is a guest post written by Beth Watson of Classical Conversations at Home

Amelia Bedelia. Pippi Longstocking. Anne of Green Gables.

These are just a few of my favorite book characters from growing up.

I love reading. I always have. My husband likes “reading” by listening to books. We’ve both found a place in teaching our children to read classically.

Our children are ages 7, 5, 4, and 2. I’d like to think we are teaching all of them to read right now and I believe the classical model supports this.

How so?

[Read more...]

Classical afterschooling (Curriculum Fair 2012)

Written by Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom.

Ages of my children: 7, 4, & almost 2
Educational philosophies I pull from: Classical, Interest-Led Learning

A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend visiting Peace Hill Press and its founder, Susan Wise Bauer. Known for fostering a modern-day movement of the classical method of teaching, she is someone I’ve long admired. It was an honor to meet her.

So it might surprise you to hear that we’re not homeschooling next year. Oh, well, of course we are in the organic, basic rudimentary definition of the word—I hold the belief that education always begins at home, whether or not families are aware. But formally, we are taking a step of faith and enrolling our kids in a local private school.

This was a tough, tough decision, and most of my closer friends and family know that we wrestled with this decision most of the spring semester. But in the end, we feel a strong peace that this is our learning path next year, and we’re excited.

So why am I participating in the curriculum fair here, you might be asking? Well, because we’re going to try out something that I learned about this past spring, and it’s one of the things that released me from the disappointment in not homeschooling next year.

It’s called afterschooling.

[Read more...]

Classical Curriculum for a Flexible Lifestyle (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom

Children’s ages: 6, 3, and 1
Educational Philosophy Influences: Classical, Charlotte Mason, and Leadership Education

I‘m a newbie when it comes to homeschooling. This can’t be overstated enough — those of you who feel completely green at homeschooling, count me among your throngs.

While we have a very nomadic lifestyle, I actually thrive quite a bit on structure, so my homeschool plans reflect this. Part of this is preemptive: I also have two other little ones, a business to run, a book to start, speaking engagements, and travel plans. If I don’t somewhat structure our school, I’m afraid it’ll never happen.

So. Here are our plans for first grade this next year.
[Read more...]

Choosing Curricula for Multiple Students (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Ages of my children: 13, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Classical, Charlotte Mason, Literature-Based

I don’t know if it’s my academic background, my penchant for planning and dreaming, or my love of learning, but exploring curriculum choices makes me happy. Like a kid in a candy store, I eagerly look forward to this time of year when our current books and resources fade in excitement and freshness, and I start thinking toward next year and all the wonderful, new things we’ll be studying.

I admit it; I am a planning geek.

Back in the early days of our homeschool when I “just” had three kids, I mapped out the rest of their school lives, calculating what grade each of my sons would be and what curriculum we’d be using. I wanted to be able to build our school library over time, as finances were tight, and I was, of course, dreaming big dreams.

Over the years our family has grown. Now as I approach “formally” schooling five children in grades K, 2, 4, 6, and 9, I find that my plans crafted many years ago have changed. Big surprise, eh?

[Read more...]

Classical Conversations: An Introduction

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles

For many families, homeschooling is a much broader reality than the designation implies. The variety of educational opportunities is steadily increasing along with the realization that school isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Tutoring groups, homeschool co-ops, community classes, umbrella schools, field trips, online classes — sometimes the sheer quantity of choices is staggering. And very often homeschooling families find themselves out of the home for one or more days each week.

After several years without outside commitments, my family chose to join a local Classical Conversations community this year and found it a perfect fit for our needs. When I was first introduced to the program I had so many questions, and it took a while for me to decide whether it would be right for us.

Now that we’ve been participating for several months, I can say that it has been a wonderful opportunity for my boys. I would love to share some details about Classical Conversations. [Read more...]